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Spiritual Things: Part 4 – Demons

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

“Spiritual Things: Part 4 – Demons” 

Series: Spiritual Things [on screen] 

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD 

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida 

May 31, 2020 

Introductory Comments: 

What a joy to be led in worship through music. I joked with Dirck this week about trying to pick out some songs that had to do with demons. 

Well, there’s not a lot of worship songs out there about demons, but we are going to learn about them nonetheless. Before we do, let’s go to God in prayer and ask Him to teach us.


Think about what comes to mind when you think about demons. For many of us, our ideas of demons have been shaped by movies, literature, Halloween costumes, nightmares, and even team mascots.

If I were to ask you to describe how a demon looks, many of you would probably describe something slender with grayish or red skin, sharp teeth and claws, pointy ears, perhaps with a set of horns, and a pointed tail.  However, those descriptions don’t come from the Bible.

The Bible has quite a bit to say about demons so let’s get into our study.

We are continuing our series called “Spiritual Things.” [on screen] Thus far we have discussed Heaven, Hell, and angels. Today, we will discuss demons. [on screen]

Most of you, if you’ve been worshiping along with us each week, have picked up on the fact that I try to answer a few basic questions each week about the topic we’re studying. So, here we go!

First, let’s answer the question . . .

I. What are demons? [on screen]

Theologian Wayne Grudem offers a good definition for demons, so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Grudem defines demons as, “Evil angels who sinned against God and who now continually work evil in the world.”

That’s a pretty simple and pretty biblical explanation of what demons are.

So, demons are actually spirits or angels. How do we know this? Well, the Bible says as much. Second Peter 2:4 says, “For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned but cast them into hell and delivered them in chains of utter darkness to be kept for judgment” [on screen]

Remember, also, that God created everything and it was good. So, demons were once good angels, but something happened. As we learned last week, angels have moral choices. Well, a certain group of angels decided to make the moral choice to reject God and His ways, they were cast out of Heaven into Hell, and these evil angels, or evil spirits, are what we know as demons.

We don’t know all the details about how they fell into sin and fell from God’s grace, but by the time we get to Genesis 3 we see a demon tempting Adam and Eve to sin. So, sometime between Creation in Genesis 1, and the entrance of sin into the world in Genesis 3, these evil angels rebelled against God and His ways.

These evil angels also share some characteristics with good angels. 

They are generally spirit form, so they are invisible. Just as there may be good angels around us at any time, there may also be demons around us at any time.

They can at times take on physical form. We see this demonstrated most clearly in the story of the chief demon, Satan, taking on a physical form of a serpent. Further, we see in Scripture that demons may inhabit physical beings as, and we’ll look at a little more later.

They are intelligent, moral, and personal creatures. Although they do make wrong choices, primarily in rejecting God’s ways, they are able to make choices and communicate as intelligent personal beings. 

They can have great power and abilities beyond human abilities. Demons can do things that human beings can’t do. They are supernatural beings.

There are also some who are personal in nature. We hear about the name of a group of demons named Legion in Mark 5. We’ll learn more about Legion later. We also learn about Apollyon in Revelation 9. Obviously, the chief demon is a personal creature, and we’ll hear more about him in a moment. 

Also, demons are large in number, beyond what we can even discover. We know that they are both on the earth and in Hell, so there are multiple and many demons. Also, we know there are enough of them to make war against good angels. We see this in Revelation 12 where Michael and the good angels will fight against evil angels. We couldn’t count the number of demons in existence if we tried, but we know that there are many.

So, that’s a little bit about what demons are, but what about the most famous demon? Well, let’s talk about him for a moment.

II. The most famous demon. [on screen]

The most famous demon is Satan. 

It’s important to point out the Satan is not an evil god. He’s not that powerful. He is an evil angel, an evil spirit, a demon. 

Satan is presented in the Bible as the boss of all the other demons. 

He’s also known by other names other than Satan, including the devil, the serpent, Beelzebul, the ruler of the world, the prince of the power of the air, the evil one, the deceiver, the morning star, and more.

Satan is full of sin and has been sinning ever since he rebelled against God. The Bible teaches this clearly. First John 3:8 says, “The one who commits sin is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning . . . ” [on screen] So, Satan and sin go hand in hand.

Because Satan is all about sin, he is not only full of sin but he is trying to get you to sin.

We know from God’s Word that Satan was the one, in the form of a serpent, who originally brought the temptation that led to the entrance of sin into the world. Genesis 3:1 says, “Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You can’t eat from any tree in the garden?”’” [on screen] Satan made a special effort to see that sin came into the world and he hasn’t slowed down since.

The apostle Peter tells us that Satan is like a lion looking for an opportunity to destroy us.  Peter says in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” [on screen] Satan wants to destroy us and he wants to do so primarily through tempting us to sin.

One of the ways that the devil tries to tempt us is by disguising himself and his ways as something beautiful or attractive. He’s not only a deceiver, he’s a disguiser.  Second Corinthians 11:14 says, “ . . . For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” [on screen] Satan will do whatever he can do deceive us, including disguising himself as something good.

With all this said, don’t worry, church: the end of the devil is not a good ending for him. He will be destroyed.

The apostle Paul makes this clear in Romans 16:20. He says, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” [on screen] Paul is encouraging the Christians in Rome, and we should be encouraged as well. Satan’s work will come to end and God will crush Satan under our feet.

Additionally, John tells us in his revelation of the last things, in Revelation 20:10, “The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” [on screen] Again, the end of the devil and his demons is sure. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

So, that’s a little bit about Satan, the most famous demon. Let’s learn a little bit about what demons do. That’s our final section.

III. What do demons do? [on screen]

Well, first of all, remember that demons are evil angels. Like good angels, they are at work in the world today. They are working against God and His ways. They are primarily trying to prevent people from coming to God and trying to bring destruction to God’s people. 

Demons will try to work evil by tempting, harming, persecuting, causing fear, deceiving, disguising, causing doubt, encouraging false teaching about Jesus, propagating false religions, causing people not to believe in God and His ways, confusing Christians, causing hate, causing division, possessing people, and more.

One of the most prominent weapons of demons that we see in the New Testament is their ability to possess people.

Acts 8:7 says, “For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed, and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.” [on screen] The books of Acts says that many were possessed by unclean spirits. That is referring to demons.

Who can forget the story of Legion in Mark 5? Jesus approached a man possessed by demons and sought to heal him. Mark 5:6-13 says, “6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice, ‘What do you have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you before God, don’t torment me!’ 8 For he had told him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!’ 9 ‘What is your name?’ he asked him. ‘My name is Legion,’ he answered him, ‘because we are many.”’10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the region. 11 A large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. 12 The demons begged him, ‘Send us to the pigs, so that we may enter them.’ 13 So he gave them permission, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs. The herd of about two thousand rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there.” [on screen] This man was possessed and tormented, not by one demon, but by many.

So, demons are powerful, destructive, and evil.

However, we know this: demons are not omnipotent. That is, they don’t have unlimited power. 

Demons are limited by God and His sovereign power and control over them. 

Even, Satan, the leader of the demons had to seek God’s permission before he brought harm on a man named Job. We learn about this in Job 1:9-12. It says, “9 Satan answered the Lord, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Haven’t you placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse you to your face.’ 12 ‘Very well,’ the Lord told Satan, ‘everything he owns is in your power. However, do not lay a hand on Job himself.’ So Satan left the Lord’s presence.” [on screen]Again in Job 2:4-6 we read, “‘Skin for skin!’ Satan answered the Lord. ‘A man will give up everything he owns in exchange for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.’ 6 ‘Very well,’ the Lord told Satan, ‘he is in your power; only spare his life.’” [on screen]

God, in His divine wisdom, allows demons to work on the earth for a certain period of time. Their end will come when God wipes away all sin and all evil. Make no mistake, He is all-powerful and demons are not.

We must remember, Satan and God are not equal opposing forces. This is not like the Jedi versus the Sith in Star Wars. It’s not the good side of the force versus the dark side of the force. God is more powerful than Satan every day of the week.

Satan’s end is sure and God’s victory is sure. We’ll talk more about this in just a moment and a lot more next week when we discuss spiritual warfare.

Concluding Thoughts: 

So, demons are real and they are a part of God’s creation. They are present in both the spiritual world and on the earth. They are evil angels, or spirits, who are the enemies of God. 

That takes us to our bottom line: 

Bottom Line: Demons are evil spirits purposed against God and His ways. [on screen]


Now, next week we’ll talk about how we handle these evil spirits in our daily lives as followers of Jesus Christ.

For now, let us be aware of the reality of demons, let’s recognize that they are evil, and let’s acknowledge that the power of God is greater than the power of evil.

Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

1. Determine not to be like demons. [on screen]

Now, many of you might think, “How dare he even suggest that I am like a demon!” Well, remember what demons do: they are against God and His ways.

Therefore, don’t be against God and His ways. If you do so, you are like a demon. 

Don’t let the devil have any authority or power over you.

James 4:7 says, “Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” [on screen] Purpose in your heart, mind, and strength to resist the devil. Resist evil. Resist being like demons.

If you are in Jesus, evil spirits have no authority or power over you. Resist them by the power of God. Determine not to be like them and not to be influenced by them. Again, we’ll say more about this when we discuss spiritual warfare.

2. Devote yourself to the One who conquers demons. [on screen]

The greatest way to fight against demons and to avoid the influence of evil is to devote yourself to the One who is holy, good, and full of light: Jesus Christ.

Jesus can conquer evil and will one day conquer demons for good. 

Listen to these triumphant words from the writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 2:14: “14 Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through his death he might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the devil” [on screen]

Jesus will conquer. Jesus will win. Trust me: you want to be on the winning side. Devote yourself to Jesus.


As I said earlier, there is often a fascination with the devil and his demons. In fact, there seems to be a lot of interest in the devil here at our church. That’s something I learned when I first got here. Again, here’s what you need to know: demons are real, we should be on our guard, but Jesus is better. He is stronger, He is more loving, He has more resources at His disposal, He has more influence, He has more experience, He has a better plan, and He will win. Don’t be consumed with the devil or demons; be consumed with Jesus!

Flee evil and trust Jesus!

(Gospel presentation) 

(closing prayer) 

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